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BullsPort Lodge & Farm
BullsPort Lodge & Farm
BullsPort Lodge & Farm
BullsPort Lodge & Farm

BullsPort Lodge & Farm


24°8’56.3"S 16°21’48.3"E

BullsPort Lodge & Farm: Our full report

BullsPort Lodge & Farm (also known as BuellsPort or BüllsPort) stands approximately 250km southwest of Windhoek, ...

... and about 50km south of Solitaire, in its own section of the majestic Naukluft Mountains. Offering hiking and horseriding, BullsPort is one of Namibia's oldest farms.

The guest farm is owned and run by Johanna and Ernst Sauber who have always offered a very warm welcome and great hospitality.

Over the years the accommodation in the original BullsPort farmhouse has been augmented by the extension of the original buildings and the addition of some well-designed luxury and family rooms, bringing the total to 16. There's also an entirely separate campsite. The farmhouse accommodation is painted a cheerful orange on the outside and in cool cream and terracotta tones on the inside.

  • Four 'standard' rooms (BullsPort's original rooms) are fairly simple, but all are en suite and have mobile gas heaters and fans. There is a rolling programme of renovation and extension to convert these rooms to 'luxury' rooms.
  • Ten 'luxury' rooms, which we'd always recommend, are larger and come with private verandas, en-suite bathrooms and separate toilets. These rooms have fans and mobile gas heaters for cold nights, and the water is solar heated. There are also tea- and coffee-making facilities in the rooms, and the bathrooms have hairdryers and liquid hand soap, although no other toiletries.
  • Two family units situated next to the pool are the newest addition to the guest farm. Each unit consists of two twin rooms with a shared bathroom, a separate toilet and a private terrace. The second of these units has been designed to be wheelchair accessible.
  • BüllsPort's camping facilities are set about 3km from the main guest farm, and divided into one exclusive camping site for the use of a single group, and a second shared site. Both are tucked away in the Naukluft Mountains, so ideal for nature enthusiasts. Each site comes with two flush toilets, two showers (with water heated by wood-fired donkey-boilers), two sinks and a shaded lapa area, although there's no electricity.
The central facilities at BullsPort Lodge & Farm include a sparkling swimming pool set in palm-dotted gardens. There's also a big shady veranda, which is popular for sundowners, and is where hearty Namibian dinners are served when the weather's good. Indoors, there's a spacious dining room with a large glass sliding door that opens onto the patio and garden, a well-stocked honesty bar and a small library. A WiFi connection is available here, and the farm has a computer station available for guests to use. The atmosphere is homely and we've always found it welcoming. Visitors should be aware that the friendly farm dogs (one Great Dane and four Jack Russells) are free to roam the communal areas during the day but are removed for meals.

Activities focus on hiking and horseriding. Information on all the activities can be found in the reception area, along with maps for the walking trails and a selection of field guides on local flora and fauna.

There are superb hiking opportunities on BullsPort Farm itself and in the surrounding Naukluft Mountains, ranging from short strolls to more challenging day-long hikes; Johanna and Ernst are happy to advise on those that would best suit your ability.

On previous visits we have hiked the Quiver Tree Gorge Trail, which was a real highlight of our stay. This trail has been graded 'moderately difficult' and it was a little challenging in places, with some scree-like patches, but it was nonetheless rewarding, with stunning scenery throughout. You can choose to do this trail one of two ways depending on how energetic you're feeling! If you've got lots of energy you can hike the 12km circular route that winds its way up to the gorge, through it and back down again, taking an average of six hours. If you don't fancy the climb, then BullsPort will drive you to the descent point (at about 1,800m) from where you can walk the 5.5km through the gorge to a pick-up point at the bottom. On our drive up to the start of the trail we spotted several groups of mountain zebra and kudu, and on the trail itself we had a lovely close-up sighting of a klipspringer family, as well as baboons and rock hyrax.

Shorter options include the Kudu Trail which, at just over 3km, is an easy walk over flat terrain – the perfect way to walk off a hearty breakfast or exercise your legs after a long drive. The walks are self-guided but all trails are well marked and easy to follow, and the flora and fauna is rich and beautiful, which makes walking here a real pleasure.

The horseriding here is also excellent. BullsPort is a working farm and one of the few registered studs in Namibia. Riding lessons for beginners are available, and there are several short, guided horseriding trails around the farm, taking between one and three hours. Sometimes zebra and kudu are seen on these rides. For more experienced riders, BullsPort's owner, Johanna, runs guided horseriding trips into the mountains and through neighbouring farms, lasting between one and three days. Horseriding must be pre-booked prior to arrival, and it's possible to borrow hard hats, gloves and chaps.

Other activities at BullsPort include birdwatching, with over 200 bird species here; some specials on our last visit were bokmakierie, augur buzzard, Verreaux's eagle, and rosy-faced lovebirds. Scenic/game-viewing drives, guided tours to Sesriem and Sossusvlei (although it is a quite long way), and guided 4x4 excursions up the Naukluft Plateau are also offered.

It is worth noting that some of the money paid for accommodation at BullsPort goes to a community trust that has been set up to provide members of the local community with guide training programmes, and to help other projects come together.


Our view

BullsPort Guest Farm is a great place to stay near the Naukluft Mountains, and appeals to those who love to walk or ride. It's a real Namibian farm, with very welcoming owners, so staying here is quite a personal experience: down-to-earth and friendly. It's a far cry from the regimented atmosphere of some of the purpose-built lodges – and great value compared with many of the lodges nearer Sesriem.

Claire Scott

Claire Scott

Namibia expert

Geographics

Location
Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia
Ideal length of stay
Although BullsPort is quite often booked as an overnight stop to break the drive between Windhoek and Sossusvlei, two or even three nights would be ideal for keen hikers and horseriders.
Directions
BullsPort Guest Farm lies about 250km southwest of Windhoek, a drive of about three and a half hours. There is shaded parking for self-drivers.
Accessible by
Self-drive or Fly-and-Transfer

Food & drink

Usual board basis
Half Board
Food quality
Most guests will have dinner and breakfast included in their stay at BuellsPort, and can expect hearty, home-cooked dishes. Special dietary requirements can be catered for, but should be advised well in advance.

Breakfast is normally served at 6.30am (May–Sept) or 7.00am (Oct–Apr), although it's possible to arrange to eat a little later if you prefer. Eggs are cooked to order and there is a selection of cereals (including delicious homemade muesli), yoghurt, cold meats, cheeses and homemade bread.
A packed breakfast can be prepared for anyone who would like to head out early.

We didn't have lunch here on our last visit in May 2018, but a light lunch can be arranged. Lunch packs containing a sandwich, some nuts, a cereal bar, fruit and a carton of juice (perfect for a long drive or to take on one of the walks) are also available. Both of these need to be requested the day before.

Afternoon tea, including a freshly baked cake, is served at 2.00pm (May–Sept) or 3.00pm (Oct–Apr).

Dinner is a three-course set menu served around a family-style table at 7.00pm (May–Sept) and 8.00pm (Oct–Apr). On our last visit we started with squash soup, followed by zebra steak with roast potatos, beetroot, peas and a tomato salad. Our meal was rounded off by malva pudding served with cream.

Special interests

Riding holidays
Bullsport is a great option for horseriding in Namibia. A working farm that also breeds and schools Namibian horses, it offers riding lessons in the lounging circle or the dressage arena, and guided horse trails of up to three days into the Naukluft Mountains.
See ideas for Riding holidays
Walking
Bullsport Guest Farm, in the Naukluft Mountains, offers fantastic variety for those interested in walking in Namibia. Eight well-marked trails (the Quiver Tree Gorge Trail is our favourite) lead through the farm and surrounding area, with stunning scenery.
See ideas for Walking

Children

Attitude towards children
Well-behaved children are very welcome at BullsPort Guest Farm, but there are no special activities for them.
Property’s age restrictions
There are no age restrictions.
Special activities & services
Babysitting is available if requested in advance (additional cost), although this would be done by a member of staff and not a trained childminder. There are several board games available.
Equipment
Cots and highchairs can be provided.
Generally recommended for children
Yes
Notes
The pool is unfenced. Children should be supervised by their parents at all times. Children must be happy with dogs as the well-behaved and friendly farm dogs are free to roam the communal areas during the day.

Our travellers’ wildlife sightings from BullsPort Lodge & Farm

Since mid-2018, many of our travellers who stayed at BullsPort Lodge & Farm have kindly recorded their wildlife sightings and shared them with us. The results are below. Click an animal to see more, and here to see more on our methodology.

Zebra

67% success

Oryx

15% success

Meerkat

8% success

Brown Hyena

7% success

Aardvark

0% success

Cheetah

0% success

Giraffe

0% success

Leopard

0% success

Pangolin

0% success

Spotted Hyena

0% success

Wildebeest

0% success

Communications

Power supply notes
There are plug points in all the rooms and adaptors are usually available on request, although we recommend that you bring your own in case there are none available. In the event of a power failure, a generator is run between 7.00am and 10.00pm to provide lights and electricity. A candle and matches are provided in each room.
Communications
WiFi is available to guests free of charge in the lounge and dining room area. There is intermittent cellphone reception on most areas of the farm; we found the signal to be best around the main building.
TV & radio
None
Water supply
Borehole
Water supply notes
All the rooms have flushing toilets and showers, which are plumbed in. Only the family units have a bathtub.

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended
No
Medical care
There is a basic first-aid kit on site. The closest hospital is in Rehoboth, about two hours' drive from the farm. BullsPort has links to a medical-rescue company for use in an emergency.
Dangerous animals
Moderate Risk
Security measures
There is no security guard, but Johanna and Ernst live on site and the rooms can be locked.
Fire safety
There are fire extinguishers outside the rooms and in the main area.

Activities

  • 4WD Safari

    4WD Safari

  • Guided walking safari

    Guided walking safari

  • Horse-riding

    Horse-riding

  • Self-guided walking

    Self-guided walking

Extras

Disabled access
On Request
Laundry facilities
Laundry can be done for an extra charge of about £4 per load.
Money
Currency exchange is not possible. Some of the rooms have built in lockable storage areas large enough for your bag. For added security, valuables can be handed in to Johanna or Ernst to be stored in their central safe.
Accepted payment on location
BullsPort Guest Farm accepts payments in cash (Namibian dollars or South African rand only), as well as Visa and Mastercard credit cards.

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